Aaron – heart recipient
Aaron was a fit, athletic 15-year-old when he started having dizzy spells at school. This went on for 12 months before a doctor heard a murmur in his heart and after some tests, he was told that his aortic valve was 78% closed. After undergoing heart value surgery, he experienced a heart attack and a severe cardiac arrest.
“I was dead for half an hour. I got defibbed eight times, and they got me back... Mum got told I had a 98% chance of dying, and if I did survive, I had a 97% chance of having brain damage.”
While on the waiting list, Aaron was in the ICU in an induced coma for two weeks and was on life support for three months. Aaron credits the sacrifices his mother, father, and family made for his ability to get through that time.
After his successful transplant, his new heart has been pumping without a hiccup for 13 years. Aaron has jumped straight back into his passions, including footy, cricket, and surfing, and runs a fishing business. He now urges people to talk to their families about the gift of organ donation.
“I’ve got two beautiful kids, I've lived a great life, I've got great friends. I've literally lived my life to the max. I love having a beer, I love just living a normal life, and that’s what organ donation does – it allows you to have something that you would never have...there’s so many different things that can actually help and can give someone that gift that I've been fortunate enough to receive.”
What would he say to the family of his donor?
“I’d like to show them that with their heart, what I’ve done, the life that I've got to live. Thankyou’s not even enough. That's the word I'm going to use, but you can’t - how do you elaborate on that? I'd be lost for words to tell you the truth.”